English and American Literature subject guide



Online subject resources

We recommend:

Artemis Primary Sources (from Gale):

  • allows you to search 14 primary source databases from Gale Cengage with a single search box, including historical, newspaper, and periodicals archives
  • includes interesting tools like "term frequency" (see the frequency of your search term over time) and "term clusters" (see what other terms commonly occur in relation to your search term)

Archive Explorer(from Adam Matthew):

  • allows you to search 9 databases of topical primary source material with a single search box - covering subjects like the American West, gender, Africa, the Raj, the Grand Tour, Victorian Popular Culture, women's writing, etc

Most of the resources below are freely available on the internet. In addition, the Library subscribes to a vast range of online resources: see other pages within this guide for subscription e-books, bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Medieval and early modern

  • Caxton's Chaucer (British Library)
  • Middle English Compendium: a collection of resources including the Middle English dictionary, a hyperbibliography of Middle English prose and verse and a corpus of Middle English prose and verse.
  • Luminarium: medieval, Renaissance and 17th century English literature
  • Records of Early English Drama (REED): brings together evidence of dramatic, ceremonial and minstrel activity in Great Britain before 1642
    • REED Patrons & Performances: use this tool to explore touring professional performers in England outside London before 1642 – their patrons, playing places and travel routes
  • Shakespeare Quartos Archive
  • New Oxford Shakespeare via Oxford Scholarly Editions: presents an entirely new consideration of all of Shakespeare's works, edited from first principles from the base-texts themselves, and drawing on the latest textual and theatrical scholarship.

Renaissance and 17th-18th centuries

19th century


Other specialist sites

  • British and Irish authors on the web
  • Digital Theatre Plus: online resource providing high-quality full-length films of leading British theatre productions plus interviews with the cast, the creative and production teams behind each show and documentaries
    • To login: click Login (top right), click Login via your institution, select University of Kent and sign in with your Kent IT account.
  • Defining Gender, 1450-1910(from Adam Matthew): British source materials for the study of gender, leisure and consumer culture


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Last Updated: 23/01/2018